Staying sober is hard. Addiction changes the function of the brain and, as a result, the way a person thinks and perceives the world. Further, the addiction phase of the disease can easily last a year or more, deeply embedding these changes. If an individual has a severe addiction problem, recovery can take a long time, much longer than the stay in a rehab facility.
Relapse prevention treatment during rehab then becomes crucial to an individual’s long-term recovery since it extends the benefits of treatment into an individual’s normal life, helping them manage the inevitable risks they will face. While relapses do occur, and they are not the end of an individual’s recovery story, relapse prevention is still the ultimate goal of treatment.
Rehab enables individuals to learn valuable skills as well as benefit from the wisdom and experience of others, including their mistakes, to provide as many resources as possible for a client to use to get and stay sober. In rehab, clients can also contribute to the recovery of others which helps them regain a sense of empowerment and self-worth.
Substance abuse treatment, which includes relapse prevention, also helps to dismantle the problems that get in the way of all addicts’ recovery. Since addiction affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, it changes a person’s ability to make logical decisions, control impulses and regulate emotions. These features make it difficult for addicts to reflect on their behavior, take constructive criticism and make necessary changes in their lives.
These are only some of the pitfalls that recovering addicts face during and after treatment. A sense of false confidence is another risk factor. Some recovering addicts think that, after rehab, they can go back to using because they “have it under control” now, but inevitably, this thinking leads to relapse and renewed health risks. Relapse prevention treatment, offered at Bayview Recovery as part of a comprehensive rehab program, can help clients receive the treatment they need and avoid these risks.